Chase Anderson’s transition to the bright lights of Major League Baseball seemed a little too easy.
Following his call-up from Triple-A Reno in early May, Anderson became just the third pitcher since 1998 to win his first five big league starts.
But as so often happens, things even out. The 26-year-old would then lose his next four starts, a streak he was riding heading into Monday night’s game against the Miami Marlins at Chase Field.
Blessed with early run support, Anderson was in command from the outset, allowing just one run while scattering seven hits and matching his career high with eight strikeouts in a 9-1 win.
“I had fastball command from the get-go,” Anderson said. “If you have that as a starting pitcher, you’re more than likely going to be successful because you can throw your other pitches off that pitch.
“And that run support, that’s nice to have so you can relax a little bit.”
A five-spot in the second and three more in the fourth gave Anderson plenty of relaxation. In fact, he was so at ease on the mound, Anderson struck out Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton all three times he faced him.
“He’s a big guy up there, you’ve got to make your pitches to him,” Anderson said. “I kind of got deep into one count, 3-2, but I threw a change-up, it’s my best pitch, and I was like ‘if you’re going to hit it, you’re going to hit it. If you’re going to miss it, you’re going to miss it.’ Thank God he missed it.”
In breaking his personal four-game losing streak, Anderson earned his sixth win on the season, a mark which leads all National League rookies.
“Much better command,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “He was good in the counts he needed to be good in. He left ten guys on base. He got in certain counts and did a good job of setting them up and made real quality pitches.”
Anderson was coming off a frustrating start July 2 in Pittsburgh in which he lasted just 3.2 innings in a 5-1 loss to the Pirates. Monday he bounced back with one of his strongest outings of the season.
“It was good to get deep and get past the fifth and sixth inning,” Anderson said. “That’s your goal as a starting pitcher is to get six, seven hopefully eight shutout innings. To get to the sixth inning was nice tonight.”